Finding a Web Hosting Service: For Beginners

So, I was just introduced to this fantastic, and well-researched review  on web hosting. If you’re new (or even relatively seasoned) to web design, you may be feeling lost as to where to go for good web hosting services (for the record, a web host is a company that stores all the files for your website and, in short, keeps you connected to the internet–when you want to run a website, you pretty much have to have a web host). If you’re looking for where to get started, I recommend checking out the article at the link noted above. For you’re convenience, though, here’s an excellent summary of the article, provided to me by Lauren Rieb from Reviews.com:

Whether you’re thinking about starting a blog or have run one for years, you must be familiar with web hosting services as they are the backbone of any successful site. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of options on the market so finding one that is right for you depends on your purpose, experience level, and prior knowledge.

There are three main types of web hosting services that will vary depending on your business or blog function

  • Shared Hosting: The least expensive and most common type of web hosting. Hundreds of customers share a server’s resources making it one of the least powerful and efficient services too.
  • Dedicated Servers: Offering unmitigated control of the server’s resources, these options are more expensive and complex, but unnecessary for most basic projects.
  • Virtual Private Servers: A happy medium between the two, VPS offer the versatility of a dedicated server without the costs of an exclusive server.

If you’re unsure where to start, shared hosting will likely suit your needs, especially if you’re a beginner or small business. Companies operating on a larger scale may want more strength and control from one of the other options but they probably know that already. If you’re just starting out, remember that you can always upgrade to VPS, Dedicated, or a custom hosting package later on.

When deciding on a web hosting service, it should offer a straightforward, easy-to-use back-end full of useful educational tools to help you set up email accounts, oversee database information, add and organize domain names, manage files, and all the other bits, too. Reviews.com dove deep into web hosting options to find which ones stood out and outperformed the rest. They found the following to be three of the best options on the market today.

 InMotion Hosting

 InMotion Hosting excels at the little things and reliably handles everything else expected of a web hosting service. One highlight is that InMotion has one of the easiest onboarding processes Reviews.com tested, taking only a few minutes to get started. (Plus, they are one of the few companies that don’t oversaturate your inbox with unwanted advertorial or confirmation emails.)

In addition, InMotion Hosting maintains clear and transparent pricing, detailing the features of each hosting plan with little confusion or misdirection, excels in customer service and has a very simple and easy-to-use cPanel backend, with a third-party-verified 99.99 percent uptime rating. If you’re expecting your site to grow, InMotion is a great starter site; you can easily migrate from VPS or Dedicated servers without additional charges.

Bluehost

Bluehost came in a close second with strong server uptime rating, competitive prices and great customer service. While the agents are definitely helpful and informative over the phone, they do take a little longer to contact. If you want to avoid the phone altogether, Bluehost’s education resources are useful, but not as comprehensive and thorough as InMotion Hosting.

Some highlights from BlueHost: a third-party-verified 99.99 percent server uptime rating, 24/7 support, and an easy-to-use cPanel backend. If you’re looking to be able to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server, there is no site migration fee if moved within 30 days of upgrading. While it is slightly cheaper than InMotion Hosting and a reliable service, it does not perform quite at the same level.

 Media Temple

If you’re new to the world of web hosting, you might want to stick with one of the first two; Media Temple is not the best choice for beginners. However, it does stand out with impressive speed and reliability, making it a great choice for advanced users.

Media Temple’s shared service is incredibly reliable, running on several servers that lean on each other to handle heavy traffic spikes without buffering or causing major mistakes. Rather than the traditional set up, it resembles the a cloud system to provide more power than a normal shared server. It’s definitely not for everyone – and it’s backend is more complex than the first choices – so consider this one if you’re looking for a more experienced shared hosting service.